Calls for recycling “latte levy” in the UK

British members of parliament have argued for the establishment of a latte levy to reduce disposable coffee cup waste and help fund recycling.

ABC News reported the UK Parliament’s environmental audit committee also recommended a ban on disposable coffee cups if they are not all recyclable by 2023. The committee found barely any of the more than two billion coffee cups that are tossed away each year are recyclable.

“The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet five and a half times,” committee chairwoman Mary Creagh said.

“Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and government has sat on its hands.”

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MPs want disposable cups from cafes that do not recycle the items in store to be labelled with “not widely recycled” for consumers to see. The proposed latte levy would be a compulsory 25 pence (40 cents).

The committee said a disincentive would be more effective than an incentive, highlighting the success of the 5-pence single-use plastic bag charge.

“We’ve seen with the plastic bag charge an 83 per cent reduction in plastic bag use,” Ms Creagh said.

“We think the ‘latte levy’ will be the sort of charge that will really make people think, ‘Hang on a minute, I need to bring my cup to work today’, in the same way that they’re now moving more and more to reusable plastic bottles.”

A spokesperson for the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told ABC News the committee’s recommendations would be carefully considered.

7-Eleven and Simply Cups launch cup recycling initiative

A new initiative plans to collect and recycle 70 million takeaway cups annually.

It comes as Australians become increasingly aware of the number of disposable cups that end up in landfills every year.

The partnership between 7-Eleven and Simply Cups will see collection bins for takeaway cups installed in more than 200 7-Eleven stores nationally and 50 other busy locations such as universities and construction sites from March 2018.

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“As Australia’s second largest takeaway coffee destination we felt we had a responsibility to take the lead and find a solution to save cups from going to landfill,” said 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay.

Currently, more than one billion takeaway cups end up in landfill each year in Australia because there is no effective way for cups to be recycled, due to the polyethylene or liquid lining being a contaminant for regular paper recycling facilities. However, there is now a way to treat plastic lined cups.

“Simply Cups now has access to technology that removes the plastic lining from paper-based cups so that both materials can then be processed in regular paper and plastic recycling facilities,” explains Rob Pascoe, Founder of Closed Loop’s Simply Cups.

“By collecting takeaway cups via a separate waste stream, Simply Cups can guarantee that cups collected through the dedicated 7-Eleven bins will be recycled,” he said.